You may recognize this 19-year-old singing Canada’s anthem during Rockets games or at events strumming her grandmother’s beat up Gibson guitar.
Kelowna resident Rachel Layne took a semester off from her Bachelor of Arts English degree at UBCO to pursue a career in music.
“I just really wanted to focus on music, and while I was going to school, I mean I love English, but music is what I want to do as a career and I was sort of missing that at UBCO,” she said.
The musician sings, writes her own music, and strums her grandmother’s guitar which at one point, belonged in a bar band.
For the last 10 year’s Layne has been one of the opening anthem singers at Kelowna Rockets games. She remembers auditioning for them at seven, singing the Canadian anthem at her first game when she was nine.
Over the years, she sang national anthems for other local sports teams including the West Kelowna Warriors and the Kelowna Falcons.
“Singing anthems is a way to get experience singing in front of a crowd of thousands of people, it’s one of the quickest ways to do so. It’s still so incredible even after singing anthems for 10 years,” said Layne.
Occasionally, the well-mannered musician travels to Vancouver to sing for the openings of the BC Lions and performs with a hired band, saying the opportunities are better for her to meet like-minded musicians.
“It’s kind of far from where I live but I enjoy singing there too,” she said.
Singing has been in Layne’s life for as long as she can remember. Her parents told her she sang at two years old around their house.
She speculates her musical gene could’ve come from a past relative, as her parents aren’t musical.
She began with piano lessons and as she grew older, took up the guitar and began writing music. Layne records her music in her homemade studio, recording demo songs over guitar and piano tracks on an iPad in a closet.
“It works out perfectly,” she laughed. “You have the clothes and they sort of absorb the sound so you get that really clear sound.”
For the summer, she’s been booking more gigs to break into the music scene but doesn’t plan on pursuing a record label anytime soon.
“You can become an incredible independent artist and make a living,” she said, adding there’s more freedom being an independent artist, however, with a label contacts are easier to gain.
Layne will be singing at the Civic awards in May.